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Ebony Plug Jig

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Project by Andy posted 06-23-2015 03:56 AM 2391 views 34 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m posting this at the request of several members who commented on my Greene and Greene Desk.

I’ve tried William Ng’s method for making plug and I found it quite time consuming and I was never really happy with the results. The method also limits you by the size of your drill chuck. I also tried the jig that Darrell Peart uses in one of his books but I couldn’t ever get great results. Obviously he has had lots of practices and gets amazing results. Maybe someday I will try it again.

I purchased William Ng's fingernail bit made by Whiteside for routing splines. While building my desk I wondered if I could route the end grain of a piece of ebony gasp. If I had a jig with a radius that matched the radius on the bit I would have a perfectly symetrical plug so I decided to give it a shot. I built the jig, marked the radius of the bit and then sanded to the radius. The bearing on the bit follows the radius giving my a perfectly cut plug.

The picture shows the jig that resulted from this crazy idea. The jig has a small insert that houses the ebony stick quite tightly to eliminate any tearout. I clamp it all down and route off as little as possible and end up with a very clean finish. I finish it up with some sanding at 600 grit followed by a couple seconds on the buffing wheel to give me a nice polished finished. By the way you can very quickly route the ends of both sticks or multiple sticks to improve efficiency.

Please comment below and let me know what you think. Any ideas for improvements or do you think I’m crazy?

-- Andy





13 comments so far

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

4881 posts in 2131 days


#1 posted 06-23-2015 04:31 AM

Well designed and thought out but simple jig made from scraps producing great results and that’s what counts .

Klaus

-- Kiefer https://www.youtube.com/user/woodkiefer1/videos

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

2327 posts in 1892 days


#2 posted 06-23-2015 04:48 AM

Brilliant!!
You obviously were really pondering on how to make the perfect G&G plug and by golly you have got it…Well done, and thank you for posting.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Andy's profile

Andy

39 posts in 1236 days


#3 posted 06-23-2015 04:53 AM

Being unencumbered by the thought process allows me to come up with crazy ideas like this one!


Brilliant!!
You obviously were really pondering on how to make the perfect G&G plug and by golly you have got it…Well done, and thank you for posting.

- exelectrician

-- Andy

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

829 posts in 687 days


#4 posted 06-23-2015 02:08 PM

I’ve always been a fan of jigs, especially for the router table. They make arduous work go so much faster and it is these small details that really add the punch to a project.
You put a lot of thought into this jig, I rally appreciate the generous lead in area where the bit/bearing gets aligned with the jig before the cutting begins.

I assume you create your peg holes with a hollow mortiser chisel or one of those Lee Valley square hole doodads?

View abie's profile

abie

818 posts in 3235 days


#5 posted 06-23-2015 03:11 PM

TNX
TNX
Well thought out and executed
Having made some G&G Stuff I wish I had done this..

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

5811 posts in 1757 days


#6 posted 06-23-2015 03:16 PM

Ingenious!!!!!! One of the all time best jigs I’ve seen. Thanks for generously sharing.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4856 posts in 2278 days


#7 posted 06-23-2015 04:36 PM

Smart jig. I like this one.
Do you make one pass, then rotate the ebony 90 degrees and make a second pass?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5056 posts in 2612 days


#8 posted 06-24-2015 12:10 AM

As I mentioned with your other jig—thank you so very much!!

-- Dean

View LDBecker's profile

LDBecker

6 posts in 533 days


#9 posted 06-24-2015 01:13 AM

(First post on this site!)
Having just finished a small project with only 6 plugs, trying to use Darrell Pearl’s method for making plugs and botching them pretty well, this is brilliant…
What size are the plugs? Pearl mentioned that quarter inch were his most popular, so I made them that size- but they seem small to me, not to mention the difficulty of, if you actually ARE covering screw heads, finding a screw head a quarter inch or less in size. I will likely go to 3/8s for my next project.

Just found this site- what great resources here!

Larry

-- Larry Becker

View Andy's profile

Andy

39 posts in 1236 days


#10 posted 06-24-2015 03:10 AM


I ve always been a fan of jigs, especially for the router table. They make arduous work go so much faster and it is these small details that really add the punch to a project.
You put a lot of thought into this jig, I rally appreciate the generous lead in area where the bit/bearing gets aligned with the jig before the cutting begins.

I assume you create your peg holes with a hollow mortiser chisel or one of those Lee Valley square hole doodads?

- splintergroup

Making projects like this would be impossible without a good set of jigs. Virtually every detail uses a jig to make sure I get it right and have a repeatable process.

I use the Lee Valley Square hole punches that Darrell Peart designed. I highly recommend spending the money. I don’t have a hollow chisel mortiser so I’m not sure how it would compare.

-- Andy

View Andy's profile

Andy

39 posts in 1236 days


#11 posted 06-24-2015 03:11 AM



Ingenious!!!!!! One of the all time best jigs I ve seen. Thanks for generously sharing.

- HillbillyShooter

Wow, I thought it was good but I didn’t think it was that good :) Thank you.

-- Andy

View Andy's profile

Andy

39 posts in 1236 days


#12 posted 06-24-2015 03:13 AM


Smart jig. I like this one.
Do you make one pass, then rotate the ebony 90 degrees and make a second pass?

- pintodeluxe

Nope, this is a single pass jig. The radius on the router bit creates the vertical radius and the radius on the jig that the bearing rides on creates the horizontal radius. Note that the radius on the jig is the same as the bit so both the horizontal and vertical radius is the same.

-- Andy

View Andy's profile

Andy

39 posts in 1236 days


#13 posted 06-24-2015 03:34 AM



(First post on this site!)
Having just finished a small project with only 6 plugs, trying to use Darrell Pearl s method for making plugs and botching them pretty well, this is brilliant…
What size are the plugs? Pearl mentioned that quarter inch were his most popular, so I made them that size- but they seem small to me, not to mention the difficulty of, if you actually ARE covering screw heads, finding a screw head a quarter inch or less in size. I will likely go to 3/8s for my next project.

Just found this site- what great resources here!

Larry

- LDBecker

I also had trouble with Darrell’s jig. I think it just requires a lot of practice to get it right.

I used two different size plugs 5/16” and 3/8”. The 5/16” are used on the legs, the rails and the drawer pulls. The 3/8” are used on the breadboard ends. I agree that the 1/4” looks a bit small but it really depends on your project. The first G&G project I made was a clock that is on my project link and I think I made the plugs too big. I think all of the sizes are perfect on my desk if I do say so myself.

Some of my plugs do cover up screws. I used a Pan Fine T17 Plain screw which worked quite well with the small holes.

-- Andy

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